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How to Prepare for a Personal Interview?

Posted on December 22, 2021 by Chandni Kumar  | Academics | Blog

A Personal interview is an essential part of the application cycle at many prestigious universities. It is imperative to prepare well in advance as it accounts for a certain weightage of your potential outcome of your college application, especially your dream college. Interviewers, who in most cases are faculty of that university or college, tend to pose questions which may sound easy but in reality have no one correct answers. The main aim of the interviewer is to assess your ability to communicate, how well you are able to do so and how much you know yourself. Questions such as “Why do you want to apply to our school?”, “What can you offer other than academic qualities to the institute?” are some standard questions that most interviewers ask.

In this blog, you will get to know the various scenarios that crop up during a college application personal interview and also tips to prepare yourself for the same.

Before we get into the key points, here are few basics that you always need to follow:

  • Communication Skills
    Probably the most important skill that you need to possess for an interview is the ability to convey your views in a structured and thoughtful manner. A rock-solid foundation in your speaking skills will help you not just in the interview but throughout your adulthood. It helps build that connection or that first impression with the Interviewer and thereby allows you to proceed with ease for the rest of the interview. Articulate answers not only showcase your vocabulary, but also the depth of your clarity and thought-process.
  • Presentation
    It is essential to present yourself as someone who is professional. Granted it isn’t a job interview, but admission committees look for students who have an innate ability to be presentable without telling them to be so. And this isn’t limited to your clothing, it’s more to do with your timing and your posture, all of which convey various aspects of your personality to the interviewer.
  • Research
    Don’t simply make an appearance at the interview without exploring the ideology and vision of the school of your choice. Your research about the institution itself will showcase your seriousness and your due diligence. Interviews usually end with the committee asking you, if you have any questions. It is imperative to utilize that opportunity to know more about the institution. Here, it is important to note that the interviewee will notice which question you ask first and thereby assess your priority and your knowledge. Remember, you only get one shot at making an impression. Make it count.

Let’s take a look at the key points to remember before the interview:

  • Discipline and Rehearsal
    While it is impossible to know all the questions that you will be asked in advance, there are few common questions that you might anticipate. Your interviewer’s objective will be to get to know you rather than to grade you on your capacity to express what you feel the person needs to hear. The point of the interview is for you to comfortably answer the questions without memorising the replies.
    You may also want to practice a few out of the box questions as it may help you build better answers for the actual interview. It is important that you treat your mock interviews seriously and derive the maximum value from it. When you practise your mock interview, practice your response. The objective in practicing isn’t to remember a bunch of replies but to work on listening cautiously and reacting on the spur of the moment to such questions.
  • Questions about your fit with a college
    Interviews may include questions to understand how much you are contributing to the larger vision of the college. They want to know that you’re really interested in their college and also what you can bring to the table.
  • Personality-based questions
    Interviewers may want to know your strengths and weaknesses and how you are trying to help in your overall development. They want to see that you can think and speak about yourself confidently.
  • Activities, Interests, and Goal Alignment
    It’s important to know what activities interest you and what all activities you find rewarding. This gives a better chance for the interviewer to learn about what’s important to you and how productive you are when it comes to spending time in a productive manner.
  • General Knowledge
    Stay up-to-date on news and current affairs, build your own opinion on the issues related to the global economy. Honest & rational answers are the key to ace such conversations.
  • Don’ts for an interview
    There are several things that you should keep in mind and be apprehensive while going forward. Usage of slang should be avoided at all costs as it conveys your unpreparedness and your lack of seriousness. Your clothing also plays a crucial role as it represents your personality therefore choosing business casual rather than formal clothing makes you look sharp.

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